American Exports: Dempsey, Fulham roll past QPR
AMSTERDAM — It was a heavy Sunday slate for American Exports, with Clint Dempsey capping a superb performance by piling on a late goal and assist in Fulham's 6-0 duck-breaking cruise past EPL guests QPR.
Having had what looked like a sure goal cleared off the line on 17 minutes, the US star eventually made it five for the Cottagers by blasting home a cutback from near the spot shortly after the hour. Dempsey then neatly played in Bobby Zamora for the capper 16 minutes from time.
Fulham's first victory of the season has them unbeaten in four and up to 12th place.
Elsewhere, Tottenham netminder Brad Friedel celebrated his first north London derby with a 2-1 triumph over Arsenal.
The burly veteran notched four saves to beat Arsenal for the first time since February of 2007 thanks to Kyle Walker's 73rd minute strike. Friedel and Spurs have now won four straight to reach sixth place from a basement start.
One floor down in the Championship, Jonathan Spector departed on 13 minutes with an ankle knock, but Birmingham City handled business without him in a 3-1 rally win over Robbie Findley's Nottingham Forest.
The former Real Salt Lake man, who entered on 65 minutes, nearly had a game-tying assist with a quarter-hour to play and his side down one, but Marcus Tudgay fell just shy of reaching his far post feed. The victorious Brums now stand 17th with two games in hand on most of the league, while Forest are hovering a point above the danger zone in 21st place.
Serie A action saw Michael Bradley and Chievo slip to eighth place following a dreary 0-0 stalemate at Cesena. The visitors were let off the hook when Adrian Mutu muffed a penalty kick at the hour mark.
In Portugal's honor division, Oguchi Onyewu helped fourth place Sporting CP hold a 1-0 edge at 10 men for the final 68 minutes. The Lions have now won six in a row since the US defender debuted in defense.
Over in the Bundesliga, Schalke sub Jermaine Jones earned an MLS assist on the winner in a 2-1 decision at Hamburg.
Having come on 10 minutes after the break, the midfielder coolly picked out Christian Fuchs with a flank outlet pass and the left back crossed for Klaas-Jan Huntelaar to flick home the decider. The Miners moved up to fourth on a second straight win.
One place behind them on goal differential stands Steve Cherundolo and Hannover 96, who posted a 3-2 win over nearby rivals Werder Bremen on Mohammed Abdellaoue's first Bundesliga hat trick. The captain saw his first yellow card of the term for a reckless challenge in the late going.
Next door in the Eredivisie, Jozy Altidore worked a quiet 58 minutes as AZ Alkmaar went four points clear at the top with a 3-1 victory at VVV Venlo.
A short ride away in Belgium, Sacha Kljestan and Anderlecht took the Jupiler League summit with a 1-0 win at defending champs Genk. Not long after the US midfielder twice threatened to score on restart headers, Dieumerci Mbokani made the breakthrough with 16 minutes remaining.
Across the North Sea in Norway, Josh Gatt and Molde FK took a giant leap toward the first Tippeligaen crown in club history with a 2-0 triumph at Tromsø.
The teen winger continued with emergency duty at right back, but spent much of his strong 90 minutes raiding at the other end. Mere moments after he appeared to get away with a handball in his own box, Gatt saw a 73rd minute curler from above the home area cruelly tipped over the bar.
With five games left in the season, Molde are now 10 points above holders Rosenborg.
Meanwhile, Mikkel Diskerud pitched in a solid full shift as Stabæk halted a four-game skid by topping Sarpsborg 08 by a 2-0 count.
In Danish SAS Liga action, Michael Parkhurst held down right back as third place FC Nordsjælland quickly got back to winning ways by squeaking past SønderjyskE 1-0. Conor O'Brien went unused by the beaten visitors for the first time since July.
Clarence Goodson marshaled the back as Brøndby got well with a 1-0 derby decision over Lyngby. The hosts snapped a two-game losing streak to jump clear of the relegation mire.
HB Køge defender Brad Rusin made his league return from injury with a four-minute target man cameo as the game cellar-dwellers fell 2-1 at Odense BK.
Heading to Russia, Eugene Starikov worked the final 36 minutes as Tom Tomsk slid into the basement with a 2-0 home loss to Rubin Kazan.
Finally, with Ryan Miller on for 24 relief minutes, Allsvenskan bottom-feeders Halmstads BK ran their losing streak to four games with a 1-0 defeat at Örebro.